James Martin, SJ Comes Unglued

Some of you may remember that, on the occasion of St. John Henry Newman’s canonization, Fr. Martin put out this infamous tweet:

This doesn’t imply that the man who will become a saint tomorrow ever broke his promise of celibacy. And we may never know for sure. But his relationship with Ambrose St. John is worthy of attention. It isn’t a slur to suggest that Newman may have been gay” https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1183021592206626817

So, when I saw this Facebook rant, I had to laugh.

Dear friends: This week the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wis., is hosting a retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons. These men are living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy, in service to God and our church.

Nonetheless, LifeSite News, in an article that doesn’t deserve posting or retweeting or even reading, is calling this retreat the “Portal of Hell,” a “condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation.”

Let’s be clear: these men are living out the Catechism’s call for celibacy and have served for years as faithful ministers in our church.

How is it that he was so “unsure” of whether or not St. John Henry Newman broke his vow of celibacy, yet he was so positive the avowed “gay priests” who would be attending this retreat had, without a doubt, lived up to their vows of chastity and celibacy? What a crock. What proof did he have to offer in his conclusive statement? Does he know them all? Does he sleep outside their rooms? St. John Henry Newman didn’t ever acknowledge being same-sex attracted, nor did he acknowledge ever breaking his vow of celibacy, but somehow it was just peachy to imply this about Newman, yet condemning a “retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons” made him give us assurances that all the priests in attendance were “living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy?”

Many of these men on this retreat have baptized your children, buried your loved ones, presided over your marriages, visited you in the hospital, taught you in schools, heard your confessions and celebrated countless Masses with you, all while living chastity and celibacy.

LifeSite is calling for a prayer vigil in “reparation” for this “sacrilege.” Imagine how you would feel as a gay priest living his promise of celibacy or vow of chastity, and looking to hear a word of comfort from God during a retreat, and encountering angry people protesting your very existence.

This is homophobia at its most malign.

In response, may I ask for your prayers for these men, who, as you can see, are targeted and persecuted even in their chastity and celibacy? And for the retreat directors and the Dominican sisters who are graciously hosting them?

Thanks for your prayers in the coming week. Let us face homophobia and hatred with welcome and love. And let us continue in peace.

That was four times he insisted all priests attending this were celibate and chaste.  However, this retreat has ZERO to do with chastity and celibacy, as you will see from their own advertisement.

Now, Fr. Martin didn’t actually bother to put a link to the article he was ranting about, because he probably didn’t want you to notice a few things, but here it is:  https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/prayers-needed-as-6th-gay-priests-conference-descends-on-wisconsin-next-week

Prayers needed as 6th ‘gay priests’ conference descends on Wisconsin next week

Brien Farley

October 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — New Ways Ministry’s “Retreat for Gay Priests, Bishops, Brothers, and Deacons” AKA the Portal of Hell, will be occurring again this year at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, October 22 through 24.

Yes, “Portal of Hell.” What would you call it?

Hmmm…what would I call it? Maybe “Dissent-o-mania 2019?” I don’t know, I think I could come up with a pretty good list. Regardless, Fr. Martin actually fails to counter any of the points given in the article.  He also doesn’t quite tell you that the sponsoring group has been denounced by the USCCB, and that’s saying something. http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm  He also “forgot” to tell you a few other things Lifesite points out. Comments in bold are mine.

 

  1. . The authentic Catholic Church has always been luminously clear about the grave depravity she recognizes homosexual activity to be. (See The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2357, 2358, and 2359.) Before anyone whines, please note they said “activity.” As always, same-sex attraction is not a sin. Cannot believe we still need to point that out, but due to the Fr. Martins of the world who accuse us of saying same-sex attraction is a sin, we must clarify, clarify, and clarify again.

  2. The Church recently reiterated (pp. 78–83) her longstanding rule that she “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” “Who am I to judge?”, to this date, did not change this teaching.

  3. Per sociologist Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D.’s meta-analysis of data regarding clerical sex abuse, “the share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.” And strongly correlated with seminarian abuse.

  4. This retreat — the sixth of its kind — is sponsored by New Ways Ministry, an organization long condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See link I provided above. This is not an approved retreat, despite the winks and nods going on. I would love to see bishops forbid their priests from any interaction with New Ways Ministry.

  5. Looking at the proposed content of the retreat, there is nothing of reflection, renunciation, repentance, or reconciliation here. Self-pity, passive aggression, denial, slander, and deceit are the order of the day. (EXACTLY! While Fr. James Martin, SJ, mentions chastity and celibacy four times, it is not mentioned as part of the program.) On the retreat webpage we read:

 

“Some Catholics have been blaming the sexual abuse of minors on the presence of a gay men in ministry.” (That’s because an overwhelming amount of data makes it blisteringly clear this is the case.) I do find it interesting they narrowed the abuse to be only of minors.  I suppose it’s a lot easier to say “Girls were abused too!” than try to whine their way out of the abuse of seminarians.

“Is our ministry welcomed by our church?” (If by “our ministry” you mean New Ways Ministry, then NO. See above USCCB condemnation.) I’d love to know what “ministry” they are talking about? They’re supposed to be talking about a priestly ministry. 

“Can we feel welcomed by our church that regards a gay orientation as ‘intrinsically disordered?’” (Of course. But admission is not free. Like all us sinners, you must first deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Christ. FYI: this is going to mean putting the kibosh on the “gay” stuff.) News flash! Each and every priest is a sinner just like the rest of us. And as Lifesite points out, you are not special.  Same rules apply to all of us. Pick up that cross and struggle against whatever your temptations are.

“What does it take to create a community of welcome?” (Obedience. The Church welcomes anyone committed to obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ.) Silly me.  All this time I thought we were the Body of Christ, and the way to build up that body was to perform the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy. Spiritual Works of Mercy: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offenses, bear wrongs patiently, pray for the living and the dead. Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, give alms to the poor. Can you try starting there for once?

 “What are we ready to sacrifice for such a community?” (How about sin? See previous two bullet points.) Uh, how about the same thing every other priest sacrifices?

“Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?” (Because you have lost sight of who you are. Being “gay” is not who you are. As local Milwaukee priest Fr. Nathan Reesman wrote last year about this retreat: 

For the ordained Catholic priest, or for a man in vows, or also for a deacon, our most fundamental identity is our union with Christ’s own ministerial mission. Nothing else can get in the way of that core reality. ‘Gay priest’ is a confusing and incoherent label that is heavily laden with potentially dangerous internal contradictions as well as external mixed messages for our Catholic faithful. BAM! Here’s a complete statement from him. https://www.archmil.org/Blogs/Guest-Bloggers/NR-201808080.htm

  1. The leader for this year’s retreat is Fr. Peter Daly, a member of the leadership team of the notoriously heretical Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) and a prominent advocate for the elimination of priestly celibacy. Ahem, Fr. Martin. That celibacy thing would be gone if Fr. Daly had his way, so let’s not act like this is a pro-celibacy event.

This is curious because, heretofore, the “gay clergy” movement has justified itself on the premise that if a priest experiences same-sex attraction but remains celibate, there’s no moral violation and thus no cause for objection. As celebrity “gay priest” evangelist Fr. James Martin assured us in the wake of the McCarrick disaster: “What I mean by ‘gay priests’ is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity).” Yes, Fr. Martin parses the whole chastity/celibacy vow/promise thing all over the place.  Never quite sure why. We’re all called to chastity, and as of now, priests are called to celibacy (Anglican convert priests, etc., excepted).

Then there’s the Milwaukee archdiocese’s own “gay priest” champion, Fr. Gregory Greiten:

There is no question there are and always have been celibate, gay priests and chaste members of religious communities. … By choosing to enforce silence, the institutional church pretends that gay priests and religious do not really exist. Because of this, there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests to be an example for those, young and old, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation. This only perpetuates the toxic shaming and systemic secrecy. There’s ZERO reason we have to know anyone’s inclination to encourage them to chastity and celibacy for their state of life. In short, we don’t need to look at YOU, we need to look at Christ.

And just last year, New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo was quoted as saying, “The priests who come to our retreats are priests who are earnestly living their promise of celibacy” and “One of the primary goals of these programs is to help men who have made a promise or vow of celibacy to live out that commitment in healthy and holy ways.” Why would we ever believe this when a whole bunch of other people who are supposed to live chaste and celibate lives are considered victims because the Church teaches this? Fr. Martin cannot deny that New Ways pushes “same-sex marriage.” He just doesn’t prefer to mention it.  https://www.newwaysministry.org/issues/marriage-equality/

 

Got it? So the argument goes: gay or straight, if the priest is celibate, there is no problem. Here’s the problem — the people making this argument are lying. They have zero interest in priestly celibacy or the Catholic priesthood…or, for that matter, the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers they purport to champion. These individuals are mere tools to be exploited by the cultural Marxists and craven opportunists orchestrating and funding the LGBTQ political movement, the current vanguard of the Sexual Revolution, of which the ultimate and only objective is Absolute Sexual License. The selection of an anti-celibacy activist cleric like Peter Daly to lead this retreat for “gay priests” makes this plain to see. Let’s just take a look at Fr. Peter Daly and New Ways.

https://www.newwaysministry.org/2015/10/28/priest-says-same-sex-marriage-improves-society-as-catholic-nations-commence-weddings/He says same-sex marriage improves society.

https://www.newwaysministry.org/2019/07/13/gay-priest-removed-from-ministry-after-coming-out-earlier-this-year/

https://www.newwaysministry.org/about/ Fr. Peter Daly on the board of New Ways (once again, a group denounced).

https://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2014/05/07/catholic-priest-challenges-church-hostility-gays If homosexuality had been important to Jesus, he would have said something about it?! Oy. And then there’s all those same-sex couples who married civilly who live devoutly? Somebody might explain the definition to him.

  1. Consider the fate of the men participating in this retreat. Ordained men are — from Hell’s perspective — what the military calls “High Pay-Off Targets.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.” Satan has every incentive to corrupt men who dare aspire to so lofty a role, for if successful, he not only gains their souls, but befouls the image of Christ in the eyes of the world through their misdeeds. Of particular delight to Satan, he is also likely to snag additional souls from the priest’s flock as they obediently follow their lost shepherd into the wolf-infested wilderness. Ponder, then, as St. Alphonsus Liguori does, “If instead of bringing souls to God, a priest is occupied in leading them to perdition, what punishment shall he deserve?” A-MEN!

A condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation opening up in the heart of the Church. “Portal of Hell” seems an apt description to me.

What can we do about it? PRAY: for the Church, for the priests attending this retreat, for the souls they are leading astray, for the Dominican sisters allowing their beautiful retreat center to be violated by this sacrilege. If you’re in Southeast Wisconsin, join Catholic faithful gathering to pray a Rosary of Reparation at Siena Retreat Center in Racine on Tuesday, October 22 from 4:00 to 5:30 P.M. For more information, contact Brien at brien.farley@gmail.com or Jean at jburyjsd@hotmail.com.

Sadly, this order of Dominican sisters is lost. There is an insane list of retreats. Faithful is not a word I’d use to describe them.

Archbishop Listecki condemned this retreat last year, and since the organizers haven’t changed, the condemnation should be considered to remain in place. Maybe, just maybe, the bishops, priests, brothers and deacons thinking of attending might want to attend a Catholic retreat because this ain’t it says Archbishop Listecki. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archbishop-retreat-for-gay-priests-brothers-and-deacons-is-neither-approved

So, Fr. Martin, as usual you chose to focus on a phrase rather than the content.  Why? Because you know you can rebut the point and you’re going for the usual “Look at them! They’re mean!” tactic you do all too often. Once again I’m going to have to point out the hypocrisy. If you don’t like “Portal of Hell” maybe you shouldn’t throw out “homophobia.”

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What You Need is a Little Truth for Once

Denver Student Responds To Archbishop: “I Am Catholic, And I Am Gay… I Do Not Need To Be ‘Healed'”

by

Johnny Hultzapple

posted on

January 30, 2019

OK, a couple of things hit me right off the bat here. First, it’s a mighty pompous title. We’re all fallen creatures, so we ALL need healing. And second? If this kid’s intent is on living the “gay lifestyle” he will almost certainly need some sort of physical as well as emotional and spiritual healing in the future. The stats are not with you, my young friend. You have fallen for the sales pitch and have completely forgotten to see if the “gay lifestyle” might possibly have any negatives.

 It is with a very enraged and dismal heart that I write this post today.

This past Saturday, the Archdiocese of Denver sponsored an anti-LGBTQ event at the John Paul II Center led by an anti-LGBTQ activist and proponent of conversion therapy named Andrew Comiskey.

Since this young man failed to actually elaborate on what the event was, I did some digging and think it’s this: https://desertstream.org/events/denvergendermatters/

There was a highly false and insulting banner hung on the fence of the John Paul II Center. It is important to note that a representative from the Archdiocese said that the Archdiocese themselves did not hang the banner although they sponsored this event. The banner is a quote from the leader of the event, Andrew Comiskey, and reads, “There is no such thing as a ‘gay’ person…. That is a popular myth.” “Satan delights in homosexual perversion.”

Last time I checked, God created them male and female. “Gay” is an inclination. We are not our inclinations. We are God’s children made in his image and likeness. And, yes, “Satan delights in homosexual perversion,” emphasis on perversion. Is this even up for debate? I mean, Satan certainly isn’t cheering for any of us to live chaste lives, straight or otherwise. I’m not entirely sure why this young man, a Catholic, has a problem with the teachings of the Church. And, yes, everything in that quote is in line with Church teaching. “Gay” isn’t even in the Catholic lexicon. As happens in most social constructs, it’s a made-up term.

As a young, gay male, I was infuriated when I read this sign and an article [in the Colorado Times Recorder]. Not only is the sign overtly offensive, it is so, so, so very wrong.

What’s Shapiro always say? Facts don’t care about your feelings. Please remember, this was a Catholic group, putting on a Catholic conference, for Catholics. It’s completely optional. Young Johnny Hultzapple was in no way required to attend. If it just doesn’t agree with your feelings, accept it and move on, Johnny. Some, on the other hand, actually wanted to attend the conference and did so. If the message wasn’t wanted, don’t you think the ministry would go bye-bye? Ironically, somebody just referred me to Andrew Comiskey yesterday.

I AM a gay person. I AM a homosexual; and there is absolutely nothing perverted about me. In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Based on Christian belief, humans are made in the likeness of God. I believe this includes STRAIGHT, GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, or QUEER individuals. LGBTQ people are made in the image and likeness of God.

Let’s just cut to the chase, Johnny. Do you believe there’s anything perverted about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer sexual practices? And, just to add a little clarity to your nice list, how about straight sex out-of-wedlock, porn, masturbation, etc.? Again, we are not our inclinations. God didn’t make us drug addicts, alcoholics, porn addicts, rapists, etc., etc., etc. You are confusing inclinations with the part where our body and soul mirror each other as we mirror God.

For 11 years of my life, I attended Catholic school right down the road from the JP II center. In fact, I used to run around the JP II center for cross country practice. My fond memories of catholic school are unfortunately tainted with dark and hurtful moments of bigotry–bigotry that will stay with me the rest of my life.

And here comes the newest member of the martyr brigade.

This bigotry is often promoted in the Catholic religion, although it is not promoted by all. The ironic part of this bigotry is that Catholicism is a religion centered on love: God’s love for his son, Jesus’ love for his people, and people’s love for Jesus shown by loving others.

And love sometimes means saying “No!” and that’s not to people just with your disordered inclinations but also to people who share my disordered inclinations. You want so desperately to see yourself as a martyr that you can’t see that the Church actually treats us all the same when it comes to our disordered inclinations.

Events like [the conference with Comiskey], which spread hatred and lies about the LGBTQ community, are not events that I believe are truly rooted in Catholic teaching. In John 15:12, Jesus exclaims, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Dude! Did you even go to the conference, so how would you know there was hatred spread? Andrew lived the life you’re in now, so you might want to realize that not everyone is you. I know that’s super hard in this narcissistic world, and at 17 you tend to be myopic anyway, but the reality is that the “gay lifestyle” hasn’t made everyone happy. In fact, just the opposite. That’s what happens when we accept our brokenness as our being instead of letting God’s mercy into our lives.

I am only 17-years old, but I can see that events like Andrew Comiskey’s do not spread the type of love that Jesus loves his people with. Jesus’ love was never judgmental, it was never exclusive, and it definitely was never hateful. The God I know loves everyone, and everyone means anyone who lives and breathes, regardless of sexuality, gender, or any other identity.

Again, did you go to the conference? Did you see what Andrew had to say? Have you even bothered to watch a video of Andrew’s. If you are familiar with him, I’m pretty sure it would be hard to say he isn’t loving.  He may say things that don’t please you but “hateful and bigoted?” Put the facts down in your article. Quote him a bit. Link to his videos and show him spewing hate. Oh, wait, you can’t? Maybe it’s because he tries very hard to show what love actually is rather than the pile of manure you’ve been sold. You’re probably still at the stage in life where you think love is a “feeling”, which is a load of hooey. Love is a choice you make to will the best for another. Period. And, yes, this sometimes means we have to suffer greatly for those we love by making the hard choices in their regard. I seem to remember something about a Cross and a guy who suffered greatly because He loved us, but yeah, love is about feeling happy, right? Blech. How in the world do people miss this? It’s all, “Me, me, me, me” and we can’t figure out why the world is a mess. What if we lived in a world where everyone willed the best (AKA everlasting life with God) for everyone instead of their own self-gratification? Well, sadly, Original Sin will never allow that, but you can imagine a world without loneliness even if everyone’s physical self-gratifications weren’t met. Self-gratification is what it is. It doesn’t will the good of another. It’s always looking inward, not willing the best for others. Self-gratification and love are just about as polar opposite as you can get. Sadly, Johnny hasn’t been told that. He has been told “You, you and only you” which will make his life incredibly lonely.

At the event, Andrew Comiskey stated, “The enemy is intent on sowing seeds of deception in really bright and really colorful and really fragile people, and that what the whole LGBT juggernaut is.”

Wait! Did you actually go? Where’s the lie in that statement? Do you believe in satan? And seriously, yes, the fragile people are the ones who give in to their inclinations. They aren’t, as much as they’d like to think, the Christ who was inclined not to suffer but who still died on the Cross for us. THAT is love. Dying to oneself and one’s inclinations.

Now, I’m sure you’re now going to start whining about how this is just all aimed against people suffering from same-sex attraction. Please. Yeah, the rest of the world don’t have to die to themselves and their inclinations. Just you. Really?!?! I’m sure my husband would rather sleep in and then sit on a mountain top, but he gets up every morning, day after day, year after year, and goes to a job to materially support his wife and brood. To top it off, he also gets up on one of his precious days off from that grind to worship God. Other days, he gives up sleeping in to help his kids, Church, the unborn, etc., etc., etc. THAT is love. He wills the best for others despite his inclination against it. That’s carrying the Cross he’s been given.

“But, but, but…the Church approves him having sex!” young Johnny thinks to himself. And you can too, Johnny, in the same and equal context as my husband and me: with a person of the opposite sex that he has joined with in Holy Matrimony. “But, but, but…I love men!” To which I’d again have to remind you that sex is not love. Love is a choice you make to will the best for another. When that is your focus, you can choose to ignore your inclinations and make that choice. This is what Andrew Comiskey is trying to say. Is it an easy choice? Of course not. Neither is the choice my husband has made to come home to the same family day in and day out when we sometimes forget how awesome it is that he does that. He’s got his Cross, I’ve got mine, and you’ve got yours. Accepting it will truly bring you happiness and integrity.

While I whole-heartedly agree that the LGBTQ community and I are really bright and really colorful, I know that we are not fragile. We are a STRONG community. I am a strong person. The LGBTQ community fights to overcome bigotry every. single. day. With each day that passes, we are becoming a hell of a lot stronger. We will overcome, just as we have in the past.

I’m going to guess you’re all for living the lifestyle. I notice that while secular LGTB-whatevers are just fine to admit it, Catholic self-professed LGBT-whatevers never quite mention that little aspect. Let me be a little more honest than they will be. We’re talking sodomy and masturbation. Now that we got that out of the way, yes, Johnny, you are fragile. The thought of living the chaste and celibate lifestyle is just too hard. Never mind that millions do it every day. It’s just too hard for you. You are called to the exact same life of chastity and abstinence that we are all called to, yet somehow that’s bigoted. We are all called to resist our disordered inclinations no matter what they are, but you? It’s just too hard. We should cut you some slack. This isn’t exactly the definition of strong, Johnny. It’s the definition of weak and fragile.

Individuals who attended the event told the crowd that Comiskey’s events and organization lead them to ‘convert’ from homosexuality to heterosexuality. As the article describes, “conversion therapy programs like Comiskey’s have been widely discredited, and are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association…. and many other medical organizations.” In fact, conversion therapy programs were just outlawed in the city of Denver. In addition, with a passing of a bill in the state legislature, conversion therapy will hopefully be outlawed in all of Colorado this year.

So, people wish not to live the “gay lifestyle”, but you insist they must? Please. I’m sorry the AMA and APA don’t like “conversion therapy.” If they want to title Andrew’s program as such, they can go ahead, but that doesn’t change the fact that Catholics can Catholic. You might want to give Article 6 in the Catholic Catechism a little read, Johnny, and tell me where Andrew differs from it. I think you might have been cheated out of, well, the Faith:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

(For those who don’t like following links)
“* I. “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM . . .”

2331 “God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.”115

“God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them”;116 He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply”;117 “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”118

2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

2334 “In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.”119 “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.”120

2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”121 All human generations proceed from this union.122

2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God’s plan strictly: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”123 What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.124

The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.

  1. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

The integrity of the person

2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.125

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.126 “Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end.”127


What? The Church has our happiness in mind??? Mind blown yet, Johnny? Have you EVER even heard this before???

“2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God’s commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. “Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity.”128

2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.

2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life.129 The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.”

Amen! We all need to struggle together in this.

“2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. “Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth.”130

2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is “an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society.”131 Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.”

 

The #MeToo and “LGTBSJ” movements have totally missed this.

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.132 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.133

The integrality of the gift of self

2346 Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God’s fidelity and loving kindness.

See? Denying one’s inclinations isn’t mean, it’s kind, or so says YOUR Church, Johnny.

2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends,134 who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.

Immortality. Epic! Johnny doesn’t even realize he’s tossing away immortality with God for 80ish years here on earth. He’s almost ¼ of the way toward eternal life or death, and again, as stats show, probably even further if he continues on with the “gay lifestyle.” He doesn’t get that the Catholic Church, nor Andrew Comiskey, nor I for that matter, want this for him.

Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.

The various forms of chastity

2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has “put on Christ,”135 the model for all chastity. All Christ’s faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.

2349 “People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single.”136 Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:

There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.137

2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.

Offenses against chastity

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”138 “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.140 Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.

2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Note that the offenses against chastity are committed by almost all of us. While the “homosexuality” section is set off, it’s just different and something that needed to be addressed as an emerging problem at the time of the last edition. People constantly suggest that people suffering with same-sex attraction are singled out. Psh. Read the entire section.

Unfortunately, the Archdiocese of Denver is continuing to promote these events.

What? A Catholic diocese being Catholic again? The shock and horror of it all. Sigh.

I am Catholic, and I am gay. I am not ‘deceived’; Satan does not ‘delight in my sexuality’; I do not need to be ‘converted’ to heterosexuality; I do not need to be ‘healed’. I am far from perfect, but this is not because of my sexual orientation.

God made me gay, and I know that God wants me to use my voice to spread love and acceptance to not only the LGBTQ community, but to ALL people, regardless of identity. I will work my hardest to ensure that this hatred is not continued in my community. I will work hard to ensure that other kids in Catholic school will not have to suffer the bigotry I had to.

Sorry, Johnny. Saying it doesn’t make it so. Your body and your soul were carefully created by God in harmony. They are one. They are not in conflict. What’s at conflict are your inclinations and proclivities, and it’s not bigoted to say so any more than it is to say that some have the inclination and proclivity to cheat on their spouse, abuse alcohol, engage in porn, etc., etc., etc. You want to be treated differently than the rest of us and yet we are somehow bigoted. We’re the ones willing to accept that we do indeed need to allow God’s mercy to fix us in whatever our disordered tendency. You refuse to even accept that you have a disordered tendency.

My big, Catholic family loves and accepts me for who I am; they know that God made me gay and loves me just the same. I am lucky and grateful to have this system of support around me, but others are not so lucky.

Well, since we were all raised in same confused and lied-to era of the Catholic Church, I really can see why the big Catholic family would encourage the lifestyle. If they were taught to accept the “gay lifestyle”, then they were never truly taught how to love, either. We’ve all been cheated for far too long. That said, we need to seek out the truth and the bishops need to show it to us, which is exactly what Archbishop Aquila is doing there with Andrew Comiskey’s conferences. Bravo to him for being a true father who truly loves us and wills the best for us. He certainly has picked his Cross.

So, if you have continued reading thus far, I ask you to please share my post (gay or straight, religious or not) to share the articles with your community, to let people know that this is happening. Have a discussion at your dinner table, have a discussion in your class, have a discussion with your friends.

Well, I have kids and I work with youth, so you betcha we’ll have discussions. Sadly, yours is a cautionary tale and not the story of a martyr that you wish. It’s all too easy for us all to fall into the same trap you have. I’m sorry the Church has failed you in so many ways. I’m sorry the Fr. Martins of the world don’t care about your mental, physical, and especially your spiritual health, but I do, as do many others.

And, most of all, I ask you to please give love to all of your LGBTQ friends and family members, especially ones that are in communities full of hatred.

In the end, it is love that will unite us all, despite our differences.

Johnny Hultzapple is a student at South High School in Denver.

Isn’t it always the same. “Accept my lifestyle no matter how harmful it may be for me, or you hate me.” It’s beautifully framed to tug at the heartstrings, but when my children are headed the wrong way, I don’t give them the thumbs up. I don’t tell people to follow their disordered tendency. I will the best for them as I hope they do for me, and I make that choice every day, no matter how a big of a Cross it might be.

If you’re not quite understanding why people just don’t rubber-stamp the gay lifestyle, here’s a few things you should read. You might at least try to understand the mind of those you consider the “enemy.” This is not an exhaustive list but are some of my favorites. Despite what you may think, we don’t live in a bubble. Most of us have friends, family and coworkers who suffer from SSA and we love them.

http://couragegulfcoast.wixsite.com/blog#!

https://couragerc.org/

http://andrewcomiskey.com/about-andrew/

https://www.amazon.com/Made-Love-Same-Sex-Attraction-Catholic/dp/1621642194

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/the-catholic-church-thinks-we-deserve-better/

 

 

The Vilification of the Dastardly Distorters

I really have no time this week but I can tell when a blog post is just going to write itself, and this one will!

First off, I really thought Fr. James Martin, SJ was doing a stellar job managing his own martyr complex.  I mean, seriously, he really had no need for help on this front.  He’s got that locked up.  Now, maybe Bishop McElroy is sad everyone’s pretty much ignoring him, except those who can’t.  (Sorry, San Diego faithful!)  This was a probably a frantic attention grab.  “Look at me!  I’m over here and I’m a cool Catholic too!”

That said, it’s been a really bad few weeks for Fr. Martin.  Maybe the troops are just trying to re-inflate his ego after Cardinal Sarah, revoked invitations here and here, a smack-down of the “canonical approval” of his book idea– and who could forget his own misstep at Fordham where the entire panel, including him, admitted he wasn’t being candid because being a priest and Jesuit precluded him from being so.  (How stupid I felt after all of these years thinking that’s what a priest/Jesuit was supposed to do!)

Here’s Bishop McElroy’s public shaming of the meanies: 

Father James Martin is a distinguished Jesuit author who has spent his life building bridges within the Catholic Church and between the church and the wider world.

When did “notorious” and “distinguished” become synonymous?  And, wait!  “Building bridges WITHIN the Catholic Church?!?!”  I can only remotely see that being said if “building” includes a complete demolition of the Church first.

He has been particularly effective in bringing the Gospel message to the millennial generation.

Oh, he’s bringing a message to the millennial generation, alright, but it’s not quite from the Gospels unless we’re going with some sort of Gnostic Gospel.

 When we survey the vast gulf that exists between young adults and the church in the United States, it is clear that there could be no more compelling missionary outreach for the future of Catholicism than the terrain that Father Martin has passionately and eloquently pursued over the past two decades. There are few evangelizers who have engaged that terrain with more heart and skill and devotion.

I think I must have missed Fr. James Martin, SJ becoming a millennial rockstar who’s packing the churches full of millennials.  Please.  Can we be just a little honest here?  Fr. Martin, SJ reaches those who believe in an active homosexual lifestyle and those who sympathize with active homosexual lifestyles.  Now, apparently, Bishop McElroy thinks that all or most millennials are concerned with the Catholic Church and her attitude toward homosexuality.  Yeah, not so much.  Most are just worried about their lifestyle choices being accepted by whoever.  To say that millennials at large are screaming like Beatles fans over Fr. Martin, SJ is to be suffering from SJW (social justice warrior, for those not up with the current shorthand) delusions of grandeur. How about you walk up to the nearest millennial and ask them if they even know who Fr. James Martin, SJ is? 

Last year Father Martin undertook a particularly perilous project in this work of evangelization: building bridges between the church and the L.G.B.T. community in the United States. He entered it knowing that the theological issues pertaining to homosexuality constituted perhaps the most volatile element of ecclesial life in U.S. culture.

And here’s where I think Bishop McElroy is totally out of touch.  He actually thinks that this is the be all and end of all of Catholic life.  “If only we could span this active homosexual/Church doctrine divide with a bridge, our churches would be full again!”   Sorry.  You want to see THE “most volatile element of ecclesial life in the U.S. culture?”  Try birth control. Try IVF.  Try cohabitating.  Try sex outside of marriage.   Take your pick.  Bishop McElroy, Fr. Martin, and their little club don’t realize that the rest of the Church is focused on other things.

It was this very volatility that spurred Father Martin to write his new book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the L.G.B.T. Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. Using a methodology that is fully consonant with Catholic teaching, employing Scripture, the rich pastoral heritage of the church and an unadulterated realism that makes clear both the difficulty and the imperative for establishing deeper dialogue, Father Martin opens a door for proclaiming that Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community.

Wow!  I thought that the Church’s teaching was constant with Catholic teaching but, hey, whatever.  Why is it that Fr. Martin, SJ feels the need to open a door for any of us?  Who are all of these people saying anything different than “Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community?”  Please don’t fall for the “If I say it enough it’ll be true!” tactic of Martin, Cupich, McElroy, and club.  They know quite well we’re begging those suffering from SSA to embrace the Church because we love them  In short, while we tell them the Church loves them, we also tell them what the Church teaches and how the Church has helped us to struggle with our own sins.  Fr. Martin and fan club don’t want that to get out, so they’ll try to convince as many others as they can to join in the martyr complex.

Building a Bridge is a serious book, and any such work invites substantive criticism and dialogue.

If I had been drinking, my keyboard would be toast.  How did he type that one with a straight face?  I believe Cardinal Sarah just gave you plenty of substantive criticism and dialogue, along with MANY others.  It apparently fell on rather deaf ears so let me just remind you, Bishop McElroy: http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/09/01/cardinal-sarah-critiques-fr-james-martin-on-homosexuality/

This is particularly true with a complex subject like the relationship of the L.G.B.T. community and the church. Many analyses of Father Martin’s arguments have pointed to important problems that do not have easy answers and to the reality that dialogue must always proceed both in respect and in truth.

Wouldn’t this be quite similar with any group struggling with sin?  Hey, here’s an idea: how about some generic homilies on overcoming temptation and sin?  Oh wait.  I think you’d actually have to use the words temptation, sin, struggle, etc. and those words are so judge-y.  Silly me.

But alongside this legitimate and substantive criticism of Father Martin’s book, there has arisen both in Catholic journals and on social media a campaign to vilify Father Martin, to distort his work, to label him heterodox, to assassinate his personal character and to annihilate both the ideas and the dialogue that he has initiated.

How can you distort something that’s already distorted?  That was on Fr. Martin.  While there are some people out there with evil intent, there are many out there with VERY just anger!  We have friends who suffer.  We have friends whose kids suffer, etc.  We don’t live in the SJW ivory tower.  We live in the real world.  We get to live with the very real effects of a world that gives up its struggle against sin.  So, please, drop the proxy martyr complex.  And, by the way, Fr. Martin assassinated his character a long time ago.

This campaign of distortion must be challenged and exposed for what it is—not primarily for Father Martin’s sake but because this cancer of vilification is seeping into the institutional life of the church. 

I can hear the violins now.  Let’s break out a little honest, shall we?  The cancer in the Church is not those of us angry with sin, it’s those who placate sin.  That kind of means you, Bishop McElroy.  You speak of distortion but you don’t even bother to offer evidence.  So who is really the one distorting what’s going on here?  Is it you or, say, Cardinal Sarah? Let me guess.  Your position as a priest and bishop limits you to ambiguous accusations, right?

Already, several major institutions have canceled Father Martin as a speaker. Faced with intense external pressures, these institutions have bought peace, but in doing so they have acceded to and reinforced a tactic and objectives that are deeply injurious to Catholic culture in the United States and to the church’s pastoral care for members of the L.G.B.T. communities.

Bravo “major institutions!”  Your stance for clear, concise Catholic teaching in the case of Fr. Martin is laudable!  Your aid to those of us who struggle with sin, and in this case particularly those struggling with same-sex attraction, is appreciated.  Go Catholics!

The concerted attack on Father Martin’s work has been driven by three impulses: homophobia, a distortion of fundamental Catholic moral theology and a veiled attack on Pope Francis and his campaign against judgmentalism in the church.

Oh, ho!  Not good enough to be a proxy martyr for Fr. Martin, now it’s Pope Francis?  And judgmentalism?  Uh, hello!  Judge away, as far as sin goes, people!   Here’s a nice little section of the catechism on judgement.  Not shockingly, it’s in the conscience section and, also not shockingly, Bishop McElroy and pals seem to hope to keep you hopelessly in the dark to its existence with their nice little vilification (a word Bishop McElroy is fond of) of judging.

1795 “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary.  There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (GS 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments.  Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path.  We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  This is how moral conscience is formed.

 

The attacks on Building a Bridge tap into long-standing bigotry within the church and U.S. culture against members of the L.G.B.T. community.

Or it’s a load of hooey.  I vote that.

The persons launching these attacks portray the reconciliation of the church and the L.G.B.T. community not as a worthy goal but as a grave cultural, religious and familial threat. Gay sexual activity is seen not as one sin among others but as uniquely debased to the point that L.G.B.T. persons are to be effectively excluded from the family of the church. Pejorative language and labels are deployed regularly and strategically. The complex issues of sexual orientation and its discernment in the life of the individual are dismissed and ridiculed.

 Prove your case, Bishop McElroy, and stop with all of the ambiguous accusations.  I realize it’s just easier to say “There’s a boogeyman under your bed!” but wouldn’t it be nice to treat people like they have half a brain?

Now, Bishop, I know you’re hoping that people are just going to take your word for it but I am going to actually put the link to the teaching: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

Yeah, I know many have seen this before but I see a whole lot of other “offenses” against chastity listed there.  I see some for married folk, single folk, and same-sex attracted folk.  What I always find a bit ironic is that, while you seem to think same-sex attracted people deserves special treatment when it comes to their sins, you also claim offense that the Church has a special section right before the special section for married folks.    Also, did anyone see the part of Church teaching which dismisses or ridicules the complex situation of sexual orientation?  Yeah, me neither.

The coordinated attack on Building a Bridge must be a wake-up call for the Catholic community to look inward and purge itself of bigotry against the L.G.B.T. community. If we do not, we will build a gulf between the church and L.G.B.T. men and women and their families. Even more important, we will build an increasing gulf between the church and our God.

Well, that IS funny.  I so wish we could have a coordinated attack against anyone leading those suffering from SSA into sin but, sadly, we have a lot of fronts we’re fighting. Wait!  Did I just not get the call?  Come on guys!  I know I’m small time but could you just clue me in everyone once in a while????

  The second corrosive impulse of the campaign against Building a Bridge flows from a distortion of Catholic moral theology.

Oh my.  He is a bit paranoid, no?  Honestly, Bishop, there is no campaign. There’s just a whole lot of us who think the book stinks and will further lead people to ditch the struggle in hope that Truth conforms to their will.  No big conspiracy, although I’m totally going to be bummed if I found out there is one and nobody let me in on the secret handshake!

I think this is the third time or so I’m going to call you on your accusation, Bishop.  I mean, I, as well as many others, have happily quoted Fr. Martin, SJ as our evidence time and again.  Might you do the same in regards to the grand conspirators?

The goal of the Catholic moral life is to pattern our lives after that of Jesus Christ. We must model our interior and exterior selves on the virtues of faith, love, hope, mercy, compassion, integrity, sacrifice, prayerfulness, humility, prudence and more. One of these virtues is chastity. Chastity is a very important virtue of the Christian moral life. The disciple is obligated to confine genital sexual activity to marriage.

But chastity is not the central virtue in the Christian moral life. Our central call is to love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Many times, our discussions in the life of the church suggest that chastity has a singularly powerful role in determining our moral character or our relationship with God. It does not.

What the what???  Nice try, Bishop McElroy.  Are you purposely trying to confuse people?  Why are you mixing commandments and virtues?  Chastity falls under the CARDINAL virtue of temperance.  Again – READ. THE. CATECHISM.  Do not take anything at face value.  I will happily link to avoid “distortion:” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

By the way, if you gander at this link, you will find chastity a vocation to all.  Meh. Small potatoes.  (Sarcasm alert!)

Now, what is a Cardinal Virtue, you might ask (or at least Bishop McElroy should)?  “The four principal virtues upon which the rest of the moral virtues turn or are hinged. http://www.newadvent.com/cathen/03343a.htm

No biggie.  Oh, by the way again, it’s mighty hard to achieve the commandments of Christ you so confusingly stated without these virtues.  But yeah, chastity isn’t central at all.  It’s just a little itty-bitty footnote under the Cardinal Virtue of temperance.

This distortion of our faith cripples many of our discussions of sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular.

Oh, I totally agree on this.  Too bad you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

The overwhelming prism through which we should look at our moral lives is that we are all called to live out the virtues of Christ; we all succeed magnificently at some and fail at others. Those who emphasize the incompatibility of gay men or lesbian women living meaningfully within the church are ignoring the multidimensional nature of the Christian life of virtue or the sinfulness of us all or both.

OOOhhhh!  This is actually kind of a good analogy you stumbled upon, Bishop McElroy.  The geeky, science-loving girl is going to point out that when you look through a prism, it refracts or distorts!  Maybe that’s your problem.  Get a good pair of glasses and stop looking through prisms!  You’re the one who supposedly hates distortions.